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E-M:/ Who'll Stop the Drain?

Enviro-Mich message from Julie Stoneman <juliemec@voyager.net>

Rep. Karen Willard (D-Algonac) announced last week that she will introduce
an alternative to Rep. Howard Wetters' (D-Kawkawlin)drain code bill, HB
4337.    Willard, who plans to have the bill introduced on September 15
when the legislature reconvenes, states that her bill will bring real
reform while creating a farmer-friendly, taxpayer-friendly and
environmentally-friendly code.(See Detroit Free Press editorial, 9-8-98)

The Michigan Environmental Council opposes HB 4337(Wetters' bill) because
it falls far short of the reform needed to bring the 40-year-old code into
the 21st Century. MEC believes significant measures are needed to provide
proper due process, right-to-know and appeal procedures; to place a higher
priority on environmental and natural resource protection; and to assure
that we are not creating public policy to subsidize sprawling development.
Willard's bill could be the answer, but timing is tight.

Wetters' last minute maneuvers enabled him to move HB 4337 out of the House
Ag Committee right before summer recess,readying it for fall action before
the full House.  Willard must get her bill through a committee before it
can reach the House floor.  In the two short weeks legislators have before
recessing for election campaigning, it's uncertain whether the House will
even have time to address the code. But if Wetters' bill does move through
the House ahead of Willard's, sources say the Senate skids are greased to
move his bill, essentially closing the window on opportunities for  the
real reform Rep. Willard proposes. The Senate vehicle, SB 122, sponsored by
Sen. Joel Gougeon (R-Bay City), is essentially an adaptation of Wetters' bill.
Enviro-michers are urged to do the following:  1) Call your state rep and
senator and ask if they are going to support Willard's bill or the
Wetters/Gougeon bill.  Please email me with any responses you get.  2)Ask
your rep to not support the Wetters' bill, HB 4337. 
Julie Stoneman
Director of Land Programs
Michigan Environmental Council
119 Pere Marquette Dr., Suite 2A
Lansing, MI  48912
Ph:	517-487-9539
Fax:	517-487-9541
Email:	juliemec@voyager.net

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